Pugin’s Cresswell

There are a lot of anniversaries for north Staffordshire this year, with the 100 years since the sinking of the Titanic being the biggest.

But, there is another. It is 200 years since the birth of the great Victorian church architect, Augustus Pugin.

Cresswell - Annunciation Window

The 'Annunciation' window at Cresswell Church

He is most famous for the decoration of the Houses of Parliament in London but was also particularly busy in north Staffordshire. He was responsible for Cheadle RC St Giles (‘Pugin’s Gem’ as it’s called), the church at nearby Cotton (at St Wilfrid’s College) – and even had a hand in redesigning the old hall at Alton Towers, and Alton Castle.
No wonder Cheadle is going mad with celebrations! They even have a Pugin Room in the High Street there for the next six months.

But we have our own bit of Pugin work here too.  Apparently he was responsible for designing the ‘Annunciation’ window at St Mary’s RC Church in Cresswell Old Road – according to historian Michael Greenslade.


To find out more about the Pugin celebrations in this part of the world – click here.
For more about Pugin’s Gem – click here.
For more about St Mary’s Church – click here.


2 responses to “Pugin’s Cresswell

  1. Fr David Hartley

    The Annunciation window was made in 1848 (although later rather badly restored) and there are records of various discussions particularly about the price, which seems eventually to have been settled at £60.00 It is recorded in M J Fisher’s ‘Pugin Land’ recently published, which also points out that the cemetery cross is probably designed by Pugin and that several of the gravestones of the early 1840s are floriated crosses which ‘have the air of Pugin about them’ (as does our brass processional cross, and the font).
    he continues…”The significance of Cresswell lies not in its architecture or funrnishings, but in its function as the hub of the North Staffordshire (Catholic) missions. Adjoining the east end of the chapel are the domestic buildings which housed not just the priest but also a small seminary established in 1816…. Among priests trained at Cresswell were Fr James Jeffries and Fr Francis Fairfax, the first priests to reside at Cheadle”


  2. There is a story told among the congregation that when a representative from Hardman’s turned up to do some work at St Mary’s in the 1960s, he was amazed to see the Annunciation window. Apparently he was claiming that the window had been thought to be lost; and also that it was one of the very first commissions the company had carried out in their long association with Pugin.
    The story seems a bit unlikely as the window was created directly for St Mary’s, but maybe Hardman’s had lost the records?
    It’d be interesting to know how much truth there is in this story.


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